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Climate Change

     The human causes of climate change threaten our wildernesses with the most serious of consequences. Documentable changes in the earth’s climate as a result of carbon emissions cause unnatural modifications to the entire biosphere, including on lands designated as wilderness. Today, all of earth’s surviving species live on a planet that no longer contains any places that remain entirely free from modern human influences, or to put it another way, the impacts of industrialization.

Anthropogenic accelerations in climate change are anticipated to grow substantially in the decades to come, and it is assumed that unnatural impacts to lands designated as wilderness will automatically be impaired by these changes. The sad state of the facts makes the entire idea of permanently perpetuating an enduring resource of wilderness, as an idea that may be in need of a new definition, in the not so distant future. As modern human impacts to protected lands increase, the extent of this force results in modifications that artificially disrupt the natural course of the land (Leshy, 2014).

     The scientific consensus on this topic is pretty clear. Rapidly evolving changes to the earth’s climate are unnatural, and caused from impacts that are documented, and attributed, to modern humanity. Nevertheless, and despite having the objective facts at their disposal, a number of American politicians still refuse to accept the prevailing science that has been provided to us, by the scientists. The motive responsible for these differing “opinions”, is the advancement of an agenda that opposes policies intended to lessen the environmental impacts associated with human induced climate change (Dunlap, McCright , & Jerrod, 2016).

The hostility present regarding this issue is likely motivated by a movement in political ideology that originated in the 1970’s. Drawing influences from the Austrian and Chicago schools of economics, this viewpoint considers a healthy democracy to be based solely on society’s relationship with “economic freedoms” (Antonio & Brulle, 2011).  Unfortunately, the consequences associated with a complete prioritization of economic developments above all else, will someday result in a calamitous outcome for American wildlands.


Antonio, R. J., & Brulle, R. J. (2011). THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF POLITICS: Climate Change Denial and Political Polorization. The Socialogical Quarterly, 195-202.

Dunlap, R. E., McCright , A. M., & Jerrod, Y. H. (2016). The Political Divide on Climate Change: Partisan Polarization Widens in the U.S. Enviornment.

Leshy, J. D. (2014). Legal Wilderness Its Past and Some Speculations. University of California, Hastings College of the Law. http://repository.uchastings.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2109&context=faculty_scholarship

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